Renée Holland is originally from southwest Georgia and spent her early years playing near a pecan orchard, horse pasture, and a farm pond full of bass. She later moved with her family to a rural area at the base of the mountains in South Carolina near the small town of Walhalla. She attended Clemson University for her undergraduate degree in Microbiology, graduated in 2008, and worked as a researcher for the global microbiology organization at the Procter & Gamble Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2013, she received a M. S. in Plant Pathology from the University of Georgia where she studied blueberry diseases, particularly bacterial leaf scorch of blueberry. She enjoys kayaking, fishing, and spending time with her two puppies Toby, a rat terrier, and Bo Butter, a Welsh corgi.
She is the Area Blueberry Agent at the University of Georgia going on her seventh year of service. Renée serves as a resource for county agents and farmers on questions regarding blueberry production. These topics include disease and pest management, as well as, general horticultural and physiological questions about blueberries. She manages the blueberry research and demonstration farm in Alma, Georgia. She collaborates and coordinates with blueberry specialists and county agents to carry out multi-county research trials, host field days, and promote blueberry education through regional production meetings. Renée is also working on her doctorate in plant pathology studying food safety and novel disease and horticultural issues in blueberry with her advisors Dr. Harald Scherm and Dr. Phil Brannen. She is very thankful for the support and expertise her committee provides as well.
Renée has had the honor of being an invited speaker to several blueberry-producing areas in the United States, including Washington, Florida, and North Carolina. She was awarded the Best Oral Presentation in the graduate student competition at the XI International Vaccinium Symposium held April 2016 in Orlando, Florida. She has also received the Achievement Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 2018. She enjoys research team collaborations that result in answered questions for Georgia blueberry farmers.